My story “E Ticket” went live at Little Fiction this week. And I’m totally excited that Longform picked it as its fiction pick of the week.
This story is part of a linked series of stories about Maddy and her daughter Summer, two of which have been published at Atticus Review and The Rumpus. Lisa and Nancy (because every girl in the 80s was named Lisa or Nancy!), Maddy’s . . . “friends” in this story, also appear in other (as yet unpublished and in need of revision) stories as well. As I wrote in my self-interview at the Alternating Current blog, I’m fascinated with teen friendship (and adult friendship too). I’m also convinced that mean girls have a story too. (And Maddy’s daughter is a mean girl, although not in any published story yet.)
My goal for this story was to write a story with a “continuous take” (as if I were filming it in one long shot), something I’d never done before, aside from flash. And, of course, to imbue it with all the 80s and old Disneyland imagery I could, although I did have to tweak it a bit (for example, I restructured the atommobiles and the ride a bit so Maddy could get out of the atommobile at the climax).
Growing up in LA meant that we went to Disneyland at least once a year. I remember one great trip, in junior high, where my sister and I went multiple times on Space Mountain because there were no lines — an anomaly. Adventure Thru Inner Space, the Disneyland ride in this story, is close to my heart, this crazy ride where the riders are injected into a snowflake. I loved it. And it’s in sharp contrast with a lot of the rides now, which have movie tie-ins. (Even the old Pirates of the Caribbean has been Johnny Depp-ized.) Since it was sponsored by Monsanto until the end of the 1970s, after you got off, you had to walk through a hall of Monsanto’s science miracles. I no longer know whether my memories of this are real, or are colored by all the research I did on Adventure Thru Inner Space (and Disneyland in the 80s), but I “remember” seeing polyester or nylon shirts and other products like pesticides in that hall!
Supposedly, if you go on the ride that’s there now — some Star Wars thing — you can see the Mighty Microscope during the ride.